The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Assignment: Compare and contrast two characters – Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, from the novel to help readers understand the complex
personalities, values, ideologies, etc. that drive these men.
Additional details:Expository writing serves primarily to inform readers. Successful explanatory writing presents information confidently and efficiently, usually with the purpose of educating the reader about a subject. The writer must analyze and evaluate a variety of kinds of information and then organize and synthesize the information to make a coherent presentation.
While expository writing can be either objective or subjective, we will challenge ourselves to write
objective essays. This means that our writing should consider all perspectives, the full availability of evidence from our text and outside source(s), and work to conceal our personal opinions about the subject. Stick to the facts and provide an educational overview of the topic that you’ve chosen to pursue.
While writing your essay, try to concentrate primarily on Stevenson’s aim in creating these characters and less on your opinion on the quality of the book, the development of the characters, and/or the success of Stevenson to impart his message about these characters. In other words, in developing your
comparison/contrast rely on the facts of the book and work to conceal your personal opinions about the subject.
Your audience will expect that you support your claims with specific facts, details, and examples
(evidence) from the text. Elaboration in each paragraph helps to elaborate on evidence and connect this evidence to claims within paragraphs and the larger thesis in the introduction. Your introduction should act as a hand-shake to your readers—establish your topic, your purpose, and your credibility. Your conclusion should reiterate your main points, wrap-up the content, and invite your readers to think or research further.
Stevenson’s novel is often cited as a mirror on mankind, a novella that helps reveal the full spectrum of human nature, focusing specifically on man’s fallibility and duality. Certainly the events in the novel help to shape the characters, but it is their constitution and their overall nature that also work to determine their fate in relation to the other characters. Perhaps it is the larger questions you’ll consider when determining which characters to discuss: Are people good by nature? Are we all commingled out of good and evil? Is our nature, and whether we’re inherently good or evil, a self-determined notion? Does morality determine
nature? So many possibilities…
Important Miscellaneous Information:
• Students should aim for 3-4 pages of text, not including any graphics (which are optional) and
not including the works cited page.
• Essays must incorporate quotes, paraphrases, and/or summaries from the novel, Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde. Any additional source material is optional, and if you choose to incorporate other material,
please be sure to adhere to the requirements of MLA and the additional elements listed below.
o Be sure to write a clear, accurate Works Cited page and match sources on your works cited
page to their parenthetical citations within the text.
o Please understand that sources such as Wikipedia, About.com, Dictionary.com, and other sites should not be used as professional sources. Sources that are linked to summaries of the novel
or analysis of the novel by websites such as CliffNotes, BookRags, PinkMoney, etc. should
also not be used. Please use sources found from MJC’s library, journal list, and online
• MLA must be observed in formatting and documenting (both on your Works Cited page and
parenthetically—see Chapter 11 of Writing and Revising)
o Please review plagiarism policies in syllabus and remember that plagiarism is not tolerated in
any form. Students found to be recycling previous material, copying or misusing copyrighted
information, using someone else’s work, and/or misleading their audience with ideas,
evidence, or thoughts not their own will be referred to the Dean of Literature and Language
Arts and, if need be, the Vice President of Instruction. Furthermore, students will forfeit a
grade on the assignment or essay that has been plagiarized.
• Final drafts with excessive grammar and punctuation mistakes (5 or more similar problems) will be
returned to the author for revision. Revised drafts must be handed in within 2 working calendar days.
Students will lose 10% each time a draft is returned and revised.